The road to WWE Wrestlemania 34 begins this Sunday Night with the 2018 WWE Royal Rumble event.
Over the next week here on Fightful, I will be bringing you a “Countdown To The 2018 WWE Royal Rumble.” During these columns, we will be looking at the past history of the Royal Rumble event and while also previewing this years event as well.
So, without any further ado, here is Day Five of our countdown, as I make my picks for the winners of the 2018 WWE Royal Rumble Matches. Instead of just making my pick, I am going to put all the announced wrestlers from both Rumbles in order from whom I believe will have the least chance of winning until we get to #1, my picks to win it all.
17. Tye Dillinger
Dillinger had the perfect main roster debut at last years Rumble, but the push for the “Perfect 10” has stalled in the last year and there is no chance he gets the win here.
16. Aiden English
The push alongside Rusev and the whole “Rusev Day” concept has given English new life, but he isn’t at the spot yet where people would perceive him as a potential Rumble winner.
15. Apollo Crews
Crews has been a steady hand on Raw and his role in Titus Worldwide suits him well, but much like Aiden English, there is no shot for him to win the Rumble.
14. Titus O’Neil
O’Neil and Crews have pulled some upsets lately over The Bar leading into the Rumble event, but the days of a potential Titus push to the top of the card are long gone by now.
13. Xavier Woods
2017 was Woods best year as far as in ring work goes, with that being said, Woods is still third on the rung of New Day members likely to receive a singles push, so no Rumble win for him.
12. Big E
Big E can still become a huge singles star down the line, as he has the charisma and in ring ability to get the job done, but that time isn’t coming just yet for the big man.
11. Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston is celebrating his tenth year in the WWE, but unlike promotions where that is a big deal, WWE generally doesn’t care about such things and Kofi gets him hopes spots before falling short in the Rumble.
A few years ago, Rusev would be in the top five of this list, but screwed up pushes and story lines have derailed him in a huge way. This Sunday may be “Rusev Day,” but it won’t be the day Rusev wins the Rumble match.
9. Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy, much like Rusev, would’ve been higher on my list if he didn’t get handily defeated on Raw 25, making him a solid mid-card attraction at best now.
8. Bray Wyatt
Wyatt has had some decent runs in the Rumble, but has never really been a pushed commodity as of late, expect him to get an elimination or two before coming up short.
There is a bright future ahead for Elias, especially after Raw 25, but he is still a year or two away from being a main event level player, Elias will come close and possibly make the final four before falling to the eventual winner.
6. Baron Corbin
Corbin has been yo-yo’ed so much in recent months that it is hard to get a grasp as to how the WWE views him, but he got Braun Strowman out of the Rumble last year and should have a good showing this year.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura
I love NJPW and Nakamura, but Nakamura’s main roster run has been unspectacular to say the least. A solid run and win in the Rumble can definitely revitalize the star, but I just don’t see the WWE giving him such a big win on Sunday Night.
4. Randy Orton
Orton shocked the world last year when he won the 2017 Royal Rumble Match and his RKO to Nakamura on Smackdown was awesome, but I don’t see lightning striking for a third time.
3. John Cena
Cena is a world championship win away from breaking Ric Flair’s record and a Rumble win would get him a title match at ‘Mania 34, so there is a shot Cena get win the Rumble, but I just don’t see it happening.
2. Finn Balor
Another strong rumor is that Balor would win the Rumble and head to Smackdown to challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Heavyweight Title. While this match would definitely be a legendary one to say the least, my gut says the Rumble win is going to somebody else this year.
1. The Miz
This is my pick to win the men’s Rumble and when you consider just how awesome (no pun intended) The Miz has been since coming to Raw, it is not unfathomable to see him win the Rumble and face either Brock Lesnar or AJ Styles for their respective titles at ‘Mania 34.
18. Dana Brooke
The addition of Brooke to Titus Worldwide has been beneficial for her, but she has no chance at all of winning the Rumble.
Tamina has been with the WWE for quite awhile now and whether it is injuries or a lack of skill, has not shown much improvement in the ring, there is no way she gets the win on Sunday Night.
16. Alicia Fox
Fox got a mini-push in late 2017 as the captain of the women’s Survivor Series team for Raw, but that push is over now and Fox doesn’t get the duke here.
Lana is in an odd spot here, because the WWE seemingly wants to push her, but the in ring skills don’t line up to well with a push right now. Lana will get a shocking elimination or two, but she doesn’t get the shock of winning the Rumble match.
14. Liv Morgan
The littlest member of the Riott Squad has shown some tenacity in the ring, but is also the less polished among the trio, she eventually gets dumped out of the ring.
13. Sarah Logan
Logan is my personal favorite of the Riott Squad and she is talented enough to get a bigger push down the line, but her time isn’t coming just yet.
12. Mandy Rose
Rose has been a delightful addition to the Raw roster alongside Sonya Deville, but with Paige’s injury and the potential problems it can cause for an Absolution push, the Rose will not be blossoming on Sunday Night.
11. Mickie James
If there is one person who outright deserves to win the match based on her wrestling career, it is Mickie James, but the ring veteran isn’t adding this accolade to an already amazing career highlight reel.
10. Sonya Deville
With Paige’s injury, the best shot a member of Absolution has to break out as a singles star in the immediate future is Sonya Deville, but her time comes after ‘Mania 34 in my opinion.
If this was two years ago, Bayley would be my pick to win, but with mostly crappy booking surrounding her, a win for the hugger just doesn’t seem possible.
8. Ruby Riott
Of the five newest additions to the female roster in the last few months, Riott seems to have the most steam behind her, but that steam isn’t getting her a Rumble win.
Natalya finally got a long deserved title win last Summer at WWE Summerslam, but she is seemingly back to being a background player and background players don’t win the Rumble.
Naomi turned from a dancer alongside Brodus Clay to one of the better wrestler (IMO) in the women’s division, but she also is taking a lot of falls in the feud with the Riott Squad and there is little chance she gets the win in this historic match.
5. Sasha Banks
The ultimate push and de-push wrestler is Sasha banks, it is almost impossible to tell if the WWE plans on giving her a sustained push or not, but that sustained push doesn’t start at the Rumble.
4. Becky Lynch
Lynch was the first ever WWE Smackdown Live Women’s Champion and did an admiral job as the champion. Despite saying that, I think her best work right now is being the underdog and the underdog doesn’t win the Rumble this year.
3. Nia Jax
Jax occupies a role held by many men over the decades of the Rumble’s existence and that is of the monster who tosses a lot of people from the ring. Jax will get the most Rumble eliminations, but she will not get the coveted Rumble win.
Carmella is the first ever women’s Money In The Bank contract winner and still has the briefcase, which if you pair with a Rumble win, could make her one of the biggest female wrestlers ever in the WWE. The briefcase could also be used as an anchor in a sense to keep her away from a Rumble victory, which is why I am not going with her to win the match.
Asuka is my pick to win the first ever women’s Rumble match and with good reason, because her versus Alexa Bliss or Charlotte at ‘Mania 34 would be amazing. If you also factor in her undefeated streak and reign as WWE NXT Women’s Champion, Asuka could already have a hall of fame worthy run in the WWE after just a few years in the company.